tv The Presidency 1960 Presidential Election CSPAN September 9, 2018 8:00pm-9:21pm EDT
the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capitals to her, visiting all 50 capitals. this summer, the bus left the mainland and traveled to juneau, alaska and honolulu, polite. go to our 40th stop in des moines, iowa. next on "the presidency." university of washington history professor william rorabaugh talks about the 1960 presidential election and john f. kennedy and vice president richard nixon triumphed to be their party's nominee. lebanon valley college posted this event. -- posted this event. [applause] >> it's a tough act to follow , butomen's discussion
let me say it really is an honor and a privilege to welcome you to lebanon valley college, to the second annual conference on american political history. the first one? and you came back. [laughter] that is great. i'm really thrilled. lebanon valley college was founded by a group of small -- a small group of families in 1866, who wanted their sons and daughters to have a place at the table in american society. and they believed very strongly that education was the gateway , to place at the table become part of the mainstream of american society. were five or six families. some of them were illiterate.
some of them only spoke german. one only spoke and wrote and could read german, but they started an american college, english-speaking, with men and women in the classroom, and with thates that did not -- went way beyond the bible than what some of you might expect. stillat determination is part of lebanon valley college the ethos of the school, and part of our tradition. today, parents and students to believe in a liberal arts education that is thorough and practical, is the best and most effective way to enter the mainstream of american life. in the fall, i taught a seminar seminar, onyear
american dreams and the pursuit of happiness. lesson of the class is that political engagement is not entered into as part of the pursuit of happiness. it isn't something that always makes us happy in the moment. it whether you want to be or not, and if you do not understand our political theory, you risk making naive mistakes that many of our political leaders today and ,olitical leaders formerly made at their peril. among the first things that happened to me when i became president of lebanon valley was a brief encounter with jim broussard. my assistant said, "one of our history professors is here and wants to have a word with you."
oras in town maybe three four days. engines said "i have an idea. would you sanction my pursuit of that idea?" and i did. and here we are. and many of you have none jim -- known jim for decades, and some of you are getting to know him, and you know that this is the pursuit of his happiness, and the fulfillment of a lifelong scholarly interest in american political history. jim has started what seth godin call a tribe, a group of people with a shared to communicate. while jim is the most modest of ,eaders one could ever wish for other than the fact that he has so many cameras out here, i can't believe it -- [laughter]
-- he is, nevertheless, and we would all agree, a leader. a relentless fundraiser, communicator, idea generator, shameless apple polisher when he needs to be, and a leader. i would like a round of applause. for the leader of this. [applause] >> [inaudible] >> [laughter] we forgive him his texas lone .tar pin i wish you well in planning for the third annual conference, we hope, next year, and i want to thank the faculty, staff, and students who have helped to make this possible. thank you all for being here. [applause]
>> thank you. what am i supposed to say? yes, hold your questions, and mute your cell phones. onore we get started introducing our speaker, i do want to mention a couple of things to encourage you. seenme, you probably have some signs that the general population doesn't necessarily accord academics like ourselves the respect we think we deserve, but i have a story that will put your doubts at rest. a friend of mine from texas was unfortunately going through a divorce. his wife had been keeping
company with someone else who wasn't even a tenure track person. [laughter] ,ust kind of a truck driver ordinary fellow. he needed money. then he thought he would kind of blackmail my professor buddy. me --" "if you don't get i forget what it was, $1000 or something, "i'm going to go to your class and tell everybody that i was cheating with your wife, and it will embarrass you." i don'triend said," $1000." the truck driver got very indignant and said you can't tell me that a college professor that has written a book doesn't have money. [laughter] so we do have some respect out there. [laughter] i have been asked by the housekeeping people to remind everybody in the dorms, when you leave, but yorkie back in the
back in- put your keys the little envelope and that way we don't have to pay fines. my main purpose is to introduce my longtime friend and person i have looked up to for many decades, bill rohrabacher. by the way, we are now in the presence of another college president, paul finkelman. he wrote a very good book on the alcoholic republic, and another good book on partisans. and he said to me, why don't you stop writing political history that people don't care about and write something people want to read? and now he is refusing his own electionriting on the
of 1960. he has been at the university of washington for virtually his entire career. scholar a tremendous and has helped many younger folks on their career. i'm glad to introduce him tonight and talk about the election of 1960. build. ill. [applause] prof. rorabaugh: ok. thank you very much, jim. thank you to lebanon valley college. thank you to jim for the invitation as well. 1960oing to talk about the election, the kennedy-nixon election, one of the more famous elections. both men in question actually turned out to be president. one in 1960, and nixon of course in 1968.
got toy, lyndon johnson be president, so henry cabot lodge is the only loser [laughter] the most exciting contests in history, and it came to an end on november 8, 1960 when john kennedy, the democratic senator from massachusetts, narrowly defeated vice president richard nixon, the republican from california, for the nation's highest office. there were 68 million votes in 1960. 49.7%. got 49 .6%.t kennedy had won the popular vote votes, are less than one half vote for precinct. getk about that, you just one more person per precinct to change that. of course, it's all about the electoral college. in the electoral college, 303-dy did better, winning
219 with states rights democrats, senator harry byrd of virginia, picking up 15 electors, including one republican who bolted from nixon. the extremely popular president dwight eisenhower had been term limited out after two terms. had been60, there intense speculation about who would be the next president. in this talk, i will examine first the republican side, and then the fight for the democratic nomination, and then finally the general election. withlicans had a problem 1960. the problem was this. half of americans called themselves democrats. only one third called themselves republicans, and 1/6 independents. muchlicans, however, were more competitive, because much of the south remained a one-party democratic area where
there was no organized republican party at all, and in most states outside the south, neither democrats or republicans dominated by very much. ideology, however, in 1960 had a nothing to do with party affiliation. democrats were split roughly three ways among liberals, moderates, and conservatives. conservative democrats were concentrated in the south. republicans had a thin liberal wing, perhaps 10%, with the rest of the party split about 45% 45% between conservatives and moderates. a republican can win the presidency bait using the formula that had worked for richard nixon in previous elections. nixon had won his first election in 1936 -- 1946 and a democratic house race, and the senate contest in california. was that 90% of
the republicans, 20% of the democrats, and 50% of the independents. in most places outside the south, that formula would yield a republican victory. nixon had achieved that success both in 1946 and in 1950, and stressed anti-communism both at ane and abroad, which was idea or topic that appeal to conservative democrats and many independents. opened, many 1960 reporters, atal least privately, believed the next president would be vice president richard nixon. the polls tended to confirm this belief. nixon was better known than any other candidate. he was widely known because of television. he had used the vice presidency to travel around the country for eight years. vice presidents didn't do much else in those days. leaders.y party eisenhower also send nixon on a mission to 59 foreign countries,
which gave nixon a reputation for expertise in foreign policy. in 1959, nixon took attended -- advantage of a chance meeting of an american trade exhibit in moscow to stage an impromptu meeting with nikita khrushchev. television showed nixon vigorously defending this up. he. of the american system over communism. nixon faced one problem. he was going against history. beence president had elected president since martin van buren followed andrew jackson in 1836. rivals for the republican nomination had been wiped out in the democratic landslide of 1958 during the recession. inense of liberal optimism 1958, 1959, in 1960 was in the air, and democrats had maintained outside the south, particularly in industrial
areas, and especially in the northeast which had been heavily republican since the civil war. however, one republican superstar had been born in 1958 when the billionaire nelson tons of moneyent to win in a landslide against the lackluster incumbent in new york state for the governorship. new york was not only the most populous state in 1960, but no republican had won the white house since 1876 without carrying new york state. rockefeller could and did make the argument that he could carry new york. it was far less certain that richard nixon could carry new york. nixon was from california and it was presumed that california and new york were rivals, the rising of the west against the east. rockefellerof 1959, suddenly announced he would not run for president in 1960. hadid so because his polls
shown that nixon had many delegates lucked out from his numerous trips during 1950's, and the polls showed he was so far behind in primary states that he could not defeat nixon in the republican primaries. nixon wanted rocky to be his running mate in 1962 nail down the novembere in election, but rocky turned nixon down at a meeting that rockefeller insisted take place in rockefeller's apartment in new york on the eve of the republican convention held in chicago. on the same meeting, which the press called the treaty of fifth avenue, rockefeller demanded and got from nixon and agreement to add provisions to the party platform calling both for strongest civil rights and more defense spending. eisenhower was furious, because rockefeller's defense proposal
looked like an attack on eisenhower. senator barry goldwater, the conservative hero from arizona, who had also won reelection in 1958, denounced nixon's surrender to rockefeller. he thought it was a surrender. the conventiont threatened trouble from nixon to goldwater. nixon had to agreed to allow goldwater to speak to the convention to calm his followers, but instead of calling his followers, goldwater challenged conservatives to take over the republican party. and they did in 1964. picked you and ambassador henry cabot lodge as his vice presidential running meat. eisenhower was behind this. eisenhower pushed it because he as well known on television, ambassador to the u.n., and the campaign would be run on foreign policy. both democrats and republicans knew that the democrats had the
edge on domestic issues, but the republicans held the advantage in the minds of voters on foreign policy. nixon planned to run his campaign on experience. that was the one word he used often. what he really meant is that americans would feel safer than a new -- in a nuclear world with a republican administration, and one only had to look at the disaster of the korean war started under harry truman. this -- logic proved to be a disaster on the campaign trail. he seemed old and board, and did not understand television. he went badly off message more than once and was unable to deliver his home state of massachusetts, also kennedy's home state, proving to be a serious liability. in contrast with the republican side, once rockefeller bows out, the democratic side is much more complicated.
after i said -- felt after eisenhower, they could win the nomination. the best-known was at least illinoise former governor who had lost to eisenhower twice in 1952 and 1956. stevenson was convinced he could beat nixon. the most visible democrat because of his previous attempts at running for the presidency, stevenson was well traveled around the world, and spoke with world leaders all over the place. he was the darling of the liberal wing, particularly women felt "madlyt they for adlai." but the party leaders were skeptical. in 1956, stevenson promised not to run a third time. his only viable strategy therefore was to make himself available and hope for a
deadlocked convention, then to accept a draft. he kept himself constantly in the news, including a springtime 1960 highly publicized trip to latin america with the press following along. quiet backroom pledges of support based on his popularitywith that with liberals in the quarter. party leaders continue -- considered age 43 of kennedy to be too young. if elected, he would be the youngest ever elected president. was teddyst roosevelt, but he got there by mckinley's assassination. kennedy was untested among other voters besides catholics. kennedy decided to advance a new nominating system. he would run in all the primaries where the polls showed he could win. and won 10 primaries.
nobody had ever done anything like that before. he did not enter another six primaries because local conditions in those states showed he couldn't win. no candidate has ever entered so primaries, at least in part because of the enormous amount of money it took to organize campaigns and a large number of states. money was needed to set up campaign organizations to recruit volunteers and to use television to sell the candidates to voters, and kennedy did all three. fortunately for kennedy, his father, joe kennedy, was at the time one of the 20 wealthiest americans, worth an estimated $200 million in the late 1950's. i support that's like -- suppose billion today, but it's not like $100 billion that jeff bezos has today. the rich have gotten richer. joe kennedy said "we are going
to sell jack like soap flakes." that was a television advertisement. family money higher the staff, but the ads, and pay for john jet.dy's private primary victories would yield a large number of delegates, but kennedy had the shrewd insight that these victories would also force the reluctant over party leader -- older party leaders to endorse. the other candidate who needed to win primaries was the third candidate, senator hubert humphrey, the democrat from minnesota. there was no way humphrey could be nominated without showing massive public support because party leaders were not that liberal. a pronounced liberal, humphrey thanven less welcomed kennedy. remembered widely for calling for a civil rights plank at the democratic national convention
in 1948, he was a hero among civil rights groups, but his strong views made him a party liability in the south, which controlled about one third of the delegates to the convention. he started with an uphill about battle -- uphill battle. one, it wasn't bad enough and humphrey did well enough in minnesota, especially in liberal areas of the state, that he decided to take on unity in west virginia. -- kennedy in west virginia. kennedy needed to show he could win protestant votes. he did so in west virginia by all sorts of means. effective campaigning. turned out to be a really good campaigner. massive television ads. by beating humphrey in the single televised debate, and track. spectacular franklin junior --
humphrey had tried to enlist for times and had been rejected for medical reasons. the charge was effective as it was false. roosevelt was forced to make against, because joe kennedy had promised to pay off roosevelt's massive gambling debts if you would do this. money matters. however, kennedy won west virginia with massive infusions of cash. family money never hurts. west virginia politics did not turn out to be about religion at all. it was about money. committee men were paid two dollars or three dollars per vote for every vote they delivered to the primary, and the money went partly to the committee and partly to the vote. humphrey did not have enough money. in one county, humphrey personally had his money for that county returned to him in a satchel presented at a urinal in the men's room with the apology that kennedy had paid more.
years later, cardinal cushing of humphrey privately that joe kennedy had taken 950,000 dollars in cash from the sunday collection plate in boston and spent the money in west virginia. kennedy had paid for the cash by giving the cardinal a tax-deductible check for $1 million. cover. kennedy got the vote, and humphrey was forced out. senator lyndon johnson of texas, the senate majority leader, desperately wanted to be president but refused to enter the primaries because he knew he could not defeat kennedy in any primaries outside the south. johnson's strategy was to organize the south quietly and line-up delegates in the eight mountain west states that did not have primaries. lbj got the solid south.
in the mountain west, kennedy outsmarted johnson. representative stewart udall from arizona stole the state delegation from former senate mcfarland, lbj ally, and impose the rules so all of kennedy.s were for the new mexico state convention gave kennedy unexpected support after kennedy made a personal appearance. kennedy's college friend, byron white, a denver lawyer, captioned the colorado state convention for kennedy. ted kennedy won delegates, too. he got half the delegates in montana by agreeing to ride on a bronco. he stayed on for 10 seconds. [laughter] he also got another half though when he visited the ranch of one delegate in utah, and kennedy, who personally flew airplanes,
to reach the ranch he actually had to land the plane in the middle of a road. there was no place to land except the road. expectations,n's kennedy got most of the mountain west delegates. they provided the margin of victory at the national convention. downohnson actually locked the states, kennedy would have been short. election, udall became secretary of interior, and byron white went to the supreme court. the fifth candidate for the one, wasn, a minor senator stewart signing two, democrat of missouri. first choice he dared not run. openly because he could not win primaries, so he had to take chances like stevenson on being
a compromise candidate with a deadlocked convention. --nson, who disguise despised him as a meaningless politician, said a reporter at a savage story about his defense incidents -- deficiencies. at the democratic national convention in los angeles, robert kennedy, john kennedy's campaign manager, knew that they were still short of a majority. they still did not have it nailed down. finally, pennsylvania and illinois, to states controlled by old-fashioned political bosses, broke for kennedy and the candidate went over the top. it took those states to do that, barely. even with those states, it was close. bobby kept tight. control, demanding hourly reports from each coordinator on every delegate status.
laborers were hunted down and bribed or threatened. delegates were flattered, given free rides around los angeles, offered liquor or women, free tickets to disneyland after the convention adjourned. kennedy won at the end of the first ballot when the voting reached wyoming. to understand how johnson ended up on the ticket as vice president is helpful to know robert kennedy's strategy for winning. as one tallied up the electoral votes nationally, it was easy to see that each candidate would get about half the electorate's from the small and middle sized states, many which were effectively one-party states at the presidential level. given that balance, the election would be decided by the seven most populous states. new york, california, pennsylvania, illinois, ohio, texas, and michigan. you notice florida was not on the list yet. except for the states of
california and texas, the others were industrial states with great cities. if kennedy could carry four of the seven, he could probably win, and if he could carry five, he would definitely when. the main thrust of the campaign was to carry four or five of the key big states. aide56, kennedy's top prepared a memo showing there was or could be a catholic vote. the catholic vote could be important, because catholics were concentrated in populous cities. had been an important part of the democratic coalition since the irish arrived in america in the 1840's, but bind the 1950's, working-class catholics joined the middle class and moved to the suburbs. republicans controlled the suburbs, and many catholic had begun to vote republican.
eisenhower had a special appeal 1956 when he in had won the catholic majority cities like baltimore and san francisco. kennedy wanted to bring catholics back to the democratic party. including proposals k-12 education and college education were designed to appeal to upwardly mobile suburban voters. catholic voters not only with programs but also appealed to catholic pride. catholic who are about 25% of the population, but there has never been a catholic president. had lostomination badly in religious bigotry. and unstated premise was underneath the pride. if america could elect a
catholic president in 1960, and the country might in the future elect a jewish president, or perhaps an african-american. by talking about catholicism in this particular way kennedy made a pitch for jewish votes and he won 81% of jewish voters. he appealed to the black voters in the same indirect fashion. he won 68% of the african-american vote. the largest prize was the state of new york, which had a catholic majority. kennedy calculated he could turn vast catholic suburban areas from republican to democrat and win the state. hadexample, a person who moved to long island after world war ii from new york city, 60% were catholic. the same scenario was in pennsylvania, which had large numbers of catholics in philadelphia suburbs. detroit also had many catholics. the key to winning in michigan workers,nited auto
which had begun to show political muscle in registering voters in the 1950's. kennedy could not be certain about carrying ohio. it had fewer catholics than the other large industrial states. it had many smaller cities, and the larger cities like cleveland and cincinnati did not have massive suppers. in addition -- suburbs. in addition, they often voted republican. nor could kennedy be confident about illinois within untested new democrat mayor, richard daly. in addition to taking new york, pennsylvania, and michigan, the key to winning the election was to carry texas. kennedy was decidedly unpopular in texas, which had strongly supported johnson for the nomination. the only way to ensure kennedy could win the auction was to put johnson on the ticket. although robert kennedy then and later put out the word that he privately opposed the idea, the
fact is that bobby favored lbj on the ticket. without johnson, kennedy could not win, that simple. bobby had known this for weeks, maybe even months. kennedy's hold on the nomination was so precarious that bobby, who personally detested johnson, would not let word of this fact leak out. the only people inside the campaign who knew about this where john kennedy, joe kennedy, bobby kennedy, and theodore .orensen it was sprung on the rest of the staff at the. last minute once kennedy offered the job to johnson, he had no choice but to accept. that the vicesaid presidential years were the worst of his life. johnson made major contributions to the campaign. he not only made certain kennedy carried texas, but helped in
other southern states and in areas outside the south were southerners had settled. johnson was much admired among small businessman, many of whom were democrats. the letters in the johnson library are quite interesting. anderson, then democrat from mexico -- new mexico. along the border, kennedy got those votes that he would not have gotten without johnson. in louisiana, kennedy was almost kept off the ballot. johnson caught wind of the plot because he had spies everywhere. he sent senator russell along into louisiana for the state convention to make a personal plea in johnson's name to keep kennedy on the ballot. the convention voted by a vote of 51-49. think about that.
51-49 to do so. johnson also helped georgia avoid casting electoral votes for harry byrd. railroad toilliant or through eight southern states saved south carolina, and north carolina as well. 1002 hundred 47 local democratic party officials who were on board the train for at least part of the ride. the message was always the same. would be the south's link to the administration. nixon had no southern ties. point, lbj made the crudely but effectively as his train pulled out of culpeper, virginia. putting on a thick southern "what hasson wailed,
dick nixon ever done for culpeper?" and the answer was not think shortly after the democratic national convention, the democratic congress passed a special law that allowed for presidential debate for the first time during the year 1960. the next presidential debate, however, would not take place until 1976. interesting. both nixon and kennedy were eager for the debate. four were set. neither party wanted vice presidential debates. the parties were anxious for the debates because the price of advertising had soared since 1956. also, the debates were generating a much larger audience than one candidates paid speech. eisenhower, however, advised nixon not to debate kennedy, because he said it would only elevate kennedy to the level of the vice president.
nixon, however, had been a champion debater in college and was certain he could beat kennedy. after watching kennedy's performance delivering his underwhelming nighttime acceptance speech at the half empty los angeles coliseum, nixon declared he could take this man. the first debate was a disaster for nixon. mayor daley, who watched the debate on the monitor in a took one look at nixon and blurted out "my god, they have embalmed him before he even died." [laughter] a 101 degree fever and had apparently medicated himself into a sort of stupor. kennedy i'd the camera and spoke personally to the audience at home. forceful,ect, even, judicious. he stressed his campaign theme.
"i think it's time america start moving again. " kennedy's navy blue suit looked black on the black and white television sets americans were watching, while his pale complexion looked white against background.dio nixon on the other hand wore a gray suit that faded into the background, and his poorly applied makeup turned his face gray, and then the makeup began to run down his cheeks in streaks under the studios hot lights, and he looked like a houl.ween g he probably lost before he ever said a word. nixon began his reply to kennedy's powerful opening statement by saying he agreed with the senator. this statement calculated to show nixon's humanity disappointed his followers who wanted him to take kennedy. defensiveed hesitant, , bland, uninspiring.
according to a pollster, the debate did not change any minds of voters already committed. 2 million people who rarely flung behind kennedy as a result of the first debate. kennedy overtook nixon in the polls. his crowds tripled in size, and he smelled like the winter to the press. -- winner to the press. nixon did well in later debates, but they did not matter. civil rights had been an undercurrent in the year. -- in february in north carolina, more than 75,000 people, mostly african-american college students, had been arrested at a series of citizens to protest all light lunch counters and stores throughout the south. southern elected officials were unlikely to cut deals during an election year out of fear of a black voter backlash.
would notle, however, be contained. the democrats responded to the rising civil rights crisis by putting strong rhetoric in their platform in los angeles, and then they put johnson on the ticket. at the end of the convention, lyndon johnson met privately with leaders and promised platform.ood by the rockefeller forced nixon to have equally strong civil rights language in the republican platform. when nixon opened his southern campaign in north carolina, he had gone out of his way to endorse civil rights. perhaps there was not so much disagreement between the two parties as one might think. southern states rights democrats certainly thought there was no difference. the movement to protest this fact had been building during 1960. it all and back to 1948. in 1948, 4 southern states had folded the cuts to create its occurrence and nominate -- dixiecrats.
thurmond carried the four states where the dixiecrat had taken over the democratic party line on the ballot, but he had no success in other states. did self-destructive act not defeat truman and nearly diminished the influence of the dixiecrats in the national democratic party. in 1960, southern democrats came up with a different strategy. state democrats would put them on the ballot but not necessarily vote for the democratic candidate nominated in los angeles. they might bargain with either democrats or republicans for some sort of deal on civil put theor perhaps election into the house of representatives. southern democrats opposed this strategy in congress because if the election went to the house, they would be forced to vote for the national nominee in order to keep their parties and yorty and continue with committee --
seniority and continuous committee chairs. senator thurmond quietly supported nixon in south carolina while he was still a democrat. senator harry byrd did the same thing. democratice senator's son nixon is the better alternative to kennedy. when the governor of louisiana saw his plan for non-kennedy democratic electors sorted in louisiana, he made certain an independent collector qualify for the ballot. kennedy was fairly popular in louisiana because it was the one southern state that had a lot of catholics, so kennedy won. in mississippi, ross barnett put independent electors on the ballot and the states rights electors nearly defeated the democrats. five electors were pledged to
support the then unknown national candidates while six were unpledged. the six electors, as well as the eight in mississippi ended republican defector from oklahoma, cast 15 votes for byrd 1960.ember on october 19, and luther king junior was arrested at a protest in atlanta. because he had been on parole for an earlier minor violation, he had been sent not to the local jail, but to the state penitentiary in georgia. king's wife, current a scott he would berrified murdered in. prison the mayor of atlanta, who recognize this, tried to get king released, but he got nowhere. aide who acted as liaison to the african-american community called sergeant schreiber, kennedy's brother-in-law. he asked that kennedy called mrs. king to console her, and
john kennedy did, and did console her. he expressed the hope her husband would be released quickly. when robert kennedy found out about the phone call, he was furious. then he had second thoughts and changed his mind. then robber called georgia state officials and urged them to get king out of jail, and king was quickly released from the prison. bothis was mishandled, black and white votes might be lost. how did nixon and eisenhower handled this incident? they said absolutely nothing. father hadmous kings long been a republican supporter in atlanta. in many southern cities, segregationist democrats controlled local politics. he found a small republican business community in atlanta
more reasonable on civil rights issues. however, after the kennedy phone held a massenior meeting and announced he was switching his support from nixon to kennedy shared from then on, atlanta african-americans back the national democratic party over the republicans. nixon's caution one him neither black votes or southern white votes. the call did no harm among southern whites. to them, the call seemed like an act of good manners, showing compassion for a distressed wife and mother, rather than a political stunt. on election day, kennedy won a majority of black votes. by the end of the campaign, nixon had traveled 65,000 miles and visited all 50 states.
kennedy had traveled only 44,000 miles, much more efficient, and visited 45 states. republicans spent $11.3 million. think about that. now we have billion-dollar campaigns. that was on the national presidential campaign. the democrats spent $10.6 million. in addition, organized labor million, mostly helping to elect democrats. this do not count the union money spent registering new voters. when the union money -- spent on the democrats taken into account, democrats outspent republicans in 1960, which is unusual. the national numbers exclude local party candidates. total political spending on all campaigns in 1960 probably came million. kennedy later privately said his own campaign had cost $30 million. election day was exciting -- $13
million. election day was exciting. turnout was high. the percentage of eligible was theome a 64.3% highest of any presidential election since the late 1800s. democrats registered 8.5 million new voters. campaign organizations got out the vote and kennedy's unique television charm mattered. nevertheless, the election was surprisingly close. reporters, many of whom had ground infatuated with kennedy while covering the campaign, were shot. the kennedys looked at the returns and spotted anti-catholicism as the reason for the close results. there certainly was a religious acts picked -- aspect. the kennedys had worked hard to get on a record catholic vote for kennedy. among catholics, 78% voted for
kennedy. the percentage ever recorded for a democrat. kennedy easily won new york state and piled impressive margins in the suburbs of new york, philadelphia, chicago, and detroit. he won cities by record amount with black voters and promises of federal aid, which is the city's desperately needed. the suburban margins around the great cities where what really mattered. in the 14 most populous metropolitan areas, democrats surged in the suburbs from 38% in 1956 to 49% in 1960. overall, the democrats did better, 11% gain in the suburbs. kennedy swept heavily urban and catholic east. he was less popular in medium-sized cities and performed poorly in the west. he lost california and washington state. in fact, in the west, kennedy
carried only hawaii, nevada, and new mexico. nick's and also did well in the conservative and traditionally republican midwest. part of alabama and mississippi went to unpledged electorates. to three states that had organized republican parties in the south. kentucky and obama. if we look at the 1960 elections compared to the 1956 elections or the 1948 elections, we can see why democrats in 1960 concluded anti-catholicism cost kennedy votes. traditionally, heavily areas in the bible belt switched to nixon.
in the popular vote, it is hard to gauge anti-catholic losses versus catholic gains. one cup commission had kennedy losing 4.4 million protestants, gaining 2.9 million catholics. however, the total number of votes in the electorate was relatively small because the bible belt states he lost did not have many people. carrying catholic cities and the catholic suburbs gave kennedy far more votes in the electoral college then he lost. if you overlay the 1968 election on the 1960 election, a different pattern emerges. if we leave out the deep south, the states voting for george wallace, the rest of the country shows an almost complete repeat of the 1960 election. nixon, of course, was the republican candidate both times. the democrats had replaced the catholic kennedy of 1960 with protestant humphrey of 1968.
he would perform poorly in the same rival belt states kennedy lost. perhaps these she was not so much catholicism as it was liberalism. by running as a liberal in 1960, kennedy had sacrificed conservative areas of the old democratic new deal coalition. this would prove to be troublesome for democrats in later years. to 1980,om 1968 democrats won won only one in the six presidential elections. stolen?1960 election charges were made as early as election day . some irregularities were noticed. andixon had won lanai texas, he would have gotten the election -- illinois and texas, he would have gotten the election. they forced recount in hundreds of precinct in chicago and cook county. kennedy's margin in illinois was
under 9000 votes. the estimates in cook county was as high as 100,000. in hundreds of precincts, the ballots in the box did not coincide with tally sheets on top. in every case, kennedy's vote was higher on the balance sheet and nixon was lower. about 60% of the ballot box board hadto the broken seals. more than 500 were convicted for voter fraud in chicago. but the illinois a result was not changed. by itself, the only electoral vote did not matter and the republicans did not control electrical machinery in any other state. texasfraud was massive in according to newspapers. in some jurisdictions, local officials counted double the number of actual votes each voter had counted for both kennedy and johnson. county, a sample voting booth was set up in front of the real polling place here it if a ballot, thea sample
voter was sent inside to vote. if they voted a sample republican ballot, the voter would be congratulated and sent home. [laughter] i like that one. in fort bend county, peace number one, a nixon leaning county, 182 ballots were thrown out. next door in precinct two, a poor neighborhood, kennedy got one, no and nixon got ballots were thrown out or whether the total number of stolen votes in texas reached the 50,000 margin by which kennedy carried the state is not clear, but lyndon johnson was taking no chances. officials,ll elected including all the judges in the state, were democrats, some republicans got no replies to their demands for a recount or for a public inspection of the ballots. nixon was richard nex
a young man. a graceful concession was a better idea than a futile attempt to overturn the results. after the campaign, nixon thought of himself as the second most popular man in america. [laughter] shortly before the democratic convention, nixon wrote in a private letter that the strongest ticket to the democrats put up was kennedy-johnson and it was the one ticket he was not certain he could defeat. interesting, he thought he could defeat any other combination. kennedy moved quickly to bring the nation together. after the election, he announced hoover tosk j edgar stay on at the fbi, designed to reassure conservatives. liberal hero, adlai stevenson, to be ambassador at the united nations. he named two republicans to his top cabinet post.
although max demerit was a republican, he had organized business leaders to back kennedy. on inauguration day, kennedy gave a militant cold war speech that delighted everyone. unite everyone. after that, he said 70% approval. he stayed in the 70% range throughout his presidency. kennedy has the highest poll ratings of any president polling, goingof back to the late 1930's. kennedy had charm. nixon did not care television showed the difference. in thewhat happened 1960 election. thank you. [applause]
>> like you, having lived through this event, i have two quick questions. what is the illinois vote? what would have happened if the democrats and illinois had examined all of the ballots in central illinois and the chicago suburbs? as i believe walter cronkite said in 1968 when the election was close, he said the election was going to be decided by the vote thieves in southern illinois and chicago as well as other states. it strikes me that the vote fraud narrative is the classic nixon narrative. the election was stolen, and i suspect if we went to illinois -- i have lived in illinois, i
was once handed a marked ballot in an election.i thought it was good the mayor -- i were on the same side if we could investigate republican illinois, we would have found just as much voter fraud, they were just as good at it as the democrats. that's the first question. second one is slightly different. contrast the liberal versus the catholic with oklahoma in 1960 and 1968. i remember people telling me if kennedy were elected, he would have a hotline not to moscow, but to the vatican. that was a protestant mantra. that is i think the issue in 1960. 1968, the issue is war. --ember, kennedy is running which you never mentioned, surprisingly -- as a great war
hero. whether he was or not is irrelevant. he is a war hero, nixon is a quaker. prof. rorabaugh: i think there were about six questions there. i'm not prepared to relitigate cookllinois situation, but county was under daily's control ley's control. cook county did have half the votes in the state. i think more votes may have been stolen in st. louis than anywhere else. in cook county, republicans did have pulled watches in many precinct. the results were more accurate. there are other places in illinois, but i think -- the eyok county situation -- dal wanted to let kennedy and wanted to impress kennedy with how many votes he could get. anyway, illinois politics is no different today.
betrayed by the african-american leadership when endorsed kennedy on that sunday before election day. betrayed.felt that's almost a crucible for nixon. st. louis.troit, 100,000 votes. a wash.olic issue is kennedy gets 40 million catholic votes. african-americans who win that election for kennedy. >> when elections are won by coalitions you can point to one particular group as being the crucial factor, but, of course,
it's the whole coalition together that actually matters. that nixon was a racial liberal. californiaost republicans were racial liberals, but republicans since they didn't have a republican south could afford to be liberal on this issue in 1960this was largely perceived of as a southern issue and the democrats really faced the difficulty that if a national democrat pushes on far as hubertoo humphrey had in 1948 at the democratic national convention, anathema to the southern wing of the party and they block your way. why, ofdy was, which is course, when kennedy is elected, even though the platform is pro-civil rights, he's not able much. it takes lyndon b. johnson to pass the civil rights act and rights act. he had better legislative kills
than kennedy had. 60.9 countries or and kennedy was not too far from mccarthy. was foreign policy a big factor? a lot of voters don't vote on policy. it was quite a cold war. prof. rorabaugh: i think because of the cold war it really wasn't korean war wasn't that far back and eisenhower had seemed to end the korean war in that truman hadn't been able to do. easize wanted to take credit for eight years of decent prosperity and he thought that run. should the polling data showed that like thedn't really conservative domestic ideas of the republicans, but they did that republicans seemed more competent, meaning eisenhower had been more sopetent at foreign policy it was more of an endorsement of eisenhower than anyone else. that one of the
reasons kennedy won is that in the end foreign policy didn't matter that much to the voters election, that the -- you know, it's interesting that despite the emphasis on education, the polling data shows that a lot of voters were by kennedy's endorsement of k-12 aid and aid and that they really didn't quite understand what he was trying to say. it.asn't clear enough about on the other hand, the democrats really did pound away medicare, medicare, medicare. they made a lot of -- they gained a lot of votes from independent voters on that issue, particularly elderly voters who had social security coverat wasn't enough to medical bills. my question is just sort short preface. from my reading of the four people on the two major party
had clearly the strongest civil rights record, and i think was put on the ticket partly to appeal to african-americans and i guess my question is sort of a two parter. number one, do you think that lodge enabled the nixon campaign pick up more black votes than they would have otherwise and do you think if effectivelyen more utilized and maybe less undercut by the nixon campaign do you think that nixon could have gotten a higher percentage of the black vote than he did? >> well -- generally speaking, vice presidential candidates don't matter in presidential campaigns. vote for president. 16 speaker of the house for years said in a private letter after the election that johnson been the first vice presidential candidate to matter very much since teddy roosevelt and that he was responsible for not only carrying texas, but several other states. believe the memoir is very good.
those two for sure, maybe south carolina you could throw in a others.f so johnson really did make a difference. the truth is because of the partyss of the republican nixon didn't have a johnson. well rockefeller, the obvious person for nixon to have running with him was rockefeller and was the ticket, you would presumably be able to carry new york, but rockefeller wasn't play second fille fiddle to anyone and certainly not to nixon. turns out and this wasn't known for decades that the main funding source for the campaign was rockefeller. [laughter] and if you think about it, it's logical, because if nixon the '68 election, rockefeller would never be the nixonican nominee because would control the party forever if humphrey won the presidency, rockefeller would nominatednce to get later on.
>> what lessons did nixon draw from 1960 that might apply later? >> what did nixon learn from losing in 60? he learned that kennedy had the television really mattered and you should pace yourself. going to 50 states -- he carried alaska's three electoral votes. it would have been better to spend the time in illinois and texas instead. so he learned to use television and thee effectively selling of the president, 1968, really discusses how that was done. so he basically copied kennedy's '60 campaign for in '68.e own campaign it worked, didn't it? thing -- [inaudible] those who listened to it on the thought nixon won. prof. rorabaugh: that story has press, butere in the someone actually researched it and it doesn't turn out to be
actually true. polling data -- i don't know we the -- what must have happened is the reporter who put that in when it was first put in must have talked to one person who had a radio station. been based on that, whereas the actual sampling of radio listeners doesn't actually show that. it shows there's very little difference between the tv and the radio listeners. [inaudible question] prof. rorabaugh: one of the things. can re-create the experience today two ways. and watch theack video tapes of the debates, which is tedious because the are stale and the other sway to look at the transcripts and one of the things that's interesting about the transcript that it'sst debate is about -- nixon's part is about a third of the total and kennedy's is two thirds of the total, but if you look at at the time air, it's 45% nixon, 55%
kennedy. he just quit talking basically. the fact that he didn't say so many words, he was on the air the camera. and it's because he self-medicated. inon really didn't believe doctors. he believe he knew more than any doctor told him he should take one pill, he take three. so apparently, he took a sleeping pill or something on the morning of the debate was tired, he had been up until 1:00 in the outing the night before campaigning late and got in the hotel very late and took a pill in the morning so he could refresh himself before the debate, but instead of refreshing himself he was a zombie. know how kennedy prepared for the debate. he had a woman in the hotel room. and after the success of the first debate, he had told his
staff before the other debates i sure there's a woman in the hotel room an hour before the debate. [inaudible question] large, americans still newspapers,ws from which seems pretty historic today. people really read newspapers. there were hundreds of newspapers. of politicalndreds reporters all around the country would get a lot of newspaper reading and i wonder if you could address two things. one, the caliber of reporting by large on the election, newspapers as opposed to
see such ae proliferation of today actually presented the cases of policies like, of the candidates, better and whether -- well -- prof. rorabaugh: the advantage of presenting the cases more a more thoughtful, rational, logical way. readany people actually the details is -- a lot of people read newspapers, it means page,urn to the sports right? they glance at the headlines on page 1. how many people are actually those newspapers is another question so it's not questions, to the what the effectiveness would be. one of the things that advertisers discovered in the compared toven radio that television simply had an emotional impact, an emotional connection with people was unprecedented and print inia couldn't replicate this any form.
rockefeller certainly understood governor of ran for new york in 1958. that 60, one of the things kennedy does -- kennedy owns one tapee first private video recorders in the united states. they cost $100,000 in 1960 and people who own them were television stations and networks and some hollywood directors who have reasons to have tapes of shows. thejoe kennedy bought itorder for jfk and he took around the country with him and recorded all of his events and tapes. the what he was looking at was the crowd reactions and what were the applause lines and which drop and how he should expand certain things and so forth and also, he knew the importance of local news. the 11:00 news. or 10:00 news, depending on the market. rush back from events to the hotel room to see the 902nd sound bite.
and the staff couldn't understand this. were pre-television people. they couldn't understand why was obsessed with this? whereas there might be 1,000 the rally, there would be 100,000 people hearing the sound bite. it was the only thing that the reality so that's the way in which television -- it wasn't so much the debates per se. of tv as a mass medium and the emotional connections and the fact that a uniqueho did have charm. whoe's a nurse in maryland described kennedy's visit while he was a senator in the late a home for autistic children and she said he came in through the building and out to was ackyard because it nice day and the children were all in the back and within 10 bonded with all of the autistic children and she said it was incredible. communicated with them nonverbally. he had this perfect bond with them and he said there are
teachers who have taught in this school for two or three years who still don't have the level of communication that he achieved in 10 seconds. so you think about, that's his television charm is that ability project himself that way in situations, all different kinds situations and he just simply stageat sort of magical presence that, you know, was very rare. maybe barack obama had a bit of well. more. rest. another myth to the story i heard was before the debate, both nixon and kennedy were given a foreign policy briefing. these twotold about ofll islands, off the coast told, and they were basically that u.s. policy was that if china wanted them, we
give them to them and they were told not to mention that in the debate. the firsturse, that's thing that john f. kennedy nixon byp, caught surprise, and i think was key in debate. prof. rorabaugh: well, that was in one of the -- i think it was the fourth debate. the later debates and by that point the campaign importantpast -- the thing for -- eisenhower really got it right. it right byid get bringing kennedy on the stage and having the vice president senator from massachusetts as equals on the stage, you equalize the two of experiencexon's argument begins to evaporate right there. nixon had had a brilliant performance, maybe it would have worked because his first performance wasn't very good. voters looked at that and said maybe i would rather have this guy over here who i like rather here who guy over claims he's experienced, but i
for. much care that, the island bit i think didn't really play a role. shows the later debates -- the audience dropped with every one of them. each one had a lower rating than the one before. the first one was the one that mattered. you have one chance to make a first impression. much.you very >> you're welcome. [applause] george washington to george w. bush, every sunday at and midnight eastern we feature the presidency, our weekly series exploring the presidents, their politics, policies and legacies. you're watching american history weekend, every weekend, on c-span 3.
>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. you by yourought to cable our satellite provider. >> american history tv is on weekend,every featuring museum tours, archival films, and programs on the presidency, the civil war and more. here's a clip from a recent program. >> i played golf. played as much because my husband didn't play, but when i got down there, i knew when we were doing a taxi
form i knew take out the golf stayed onuse they weekends because we worked and worked and i would play golf and that helped me really definitely. >> how did it help you? was it just a more relaxed atmosphere? >> no. it was 18 holes, it takes four good and there's a lot of talk. and we would talk about what we do. insider view of exactly what was happening. >> and the more times you did that, did you feel as if it was easier to relate with some of the male anders, especially on ways means? did they accept you more? >> oh, yeah. sillyow, there were things that they did. time we were working late and i wasn't agreeing on some things and i came in, you know, already the peatsy there and they said you can't have it, you're not voting with us. things.ll but that didn't last at all. not at all.
my father was such a strong man and you know, this and this was this and the guys didn't intimidate me, all.t not at all. and that's the thing -- i didn't botheredthem know it it'sd when you don't bite, over. >> you can watch this and other ourican history programs on website where all our video is archive. c-span.org/history. is traveling bus across the country on our 50 capitols tour, visiting all 50 state capitols. this summer the bus left the mainland and traveled by ferry alaska, and honolulu, hawaii. join us as we feature our 40th iowa.op in des moines, live monday on washington journal with our guest iowa senate president charles
schneider. on american history tv, a look at president woodrow in 1917 tocision i.er world war the foreign desk editor for the washington post is the author of the brink of war and revolution. he talks about wilson's views on rights, world affairs, democracy, and america's role in world. he spoke at the eisenhower national historic site in pennsylvania. this is 40 minutes. >> welcome, everyone, we are at national historic site in gettysburg, pennsylvania. it is great war camp cole weekend. we're having a complete program programs as well as speakers here. our